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Kia reveals details of all-electric Soul headed for international markets

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November 11, 2013

A front-wheel drive prototype Soul EV test car based on the 2014 Soul

A front-wheel drive prototype Soul EV test car based on the 2014 Soul

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Details were thin on the ground when Kia revealed plans for a Soul EV last month. The Korean carmaker has now shed a little more light on the first all-electric Kia that will be sold outside its home country.

With styling inspired by the 2012 Kia Track'ster concept, the Kia Soul EV retains the square-shouldered broad stance seen on its non-electric Soul-mate and builds on the experience gained from Kia's first electric vehicle, the Ray EV, which is only available in Korea.

The Soul EV's final powertrain hasn't been announced, but the front-wheel drive prototype Soul EV test cars, which are based on the 2014 Soul, replace that car's ICE with a 109-hp electric motor outputting 210 lb-ft of torque that is married to a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. The prototypes go from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in under 12 seconds, on the way to a top speed of around 90 mph (145 km/h).

The Soul EV will be Kia's first all-electric vehicle offered outside Korea

The vehicle is powered by a battery pack that Kia says can be fully recharged using a standard 240 V outlet in five hours, or in just 25 minutes on "fast" charge with 100 kW output. The company is aiming to give the car a range of over 120 miles (193 km), which will be helped by a regenerative braking system.

Although engine noise is not a concern in the battery-powered Soul EV, Kia says the vehicle will be built using special sound-proofing materials to further ensure a quiet ride. Since stealth isn't such a plus when it comes to pedestrians, the car will come with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert when traveling in reverse or at speeds of under 12 mph (19 km/h).

When released, the Soul EV will be offered with projection type headlights, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, and aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the car's interior will boast a "Supervision" instrument cluster and center stack with an 8-inch display and eco-friendly materials.

Pricing details are yet to be announced, but Kia plans to release the Soul EV globally next year.

Source: Kia

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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4 Comments

About bloody time Kia came up with something. Hyundai should follow soon.

Sick of seeing the Volt sitting at the top of the mound smirking at everyone with its 60k price tag.

Need some consumer affordable electrics.

Nairda
11th November, 2013 @ 08:50 pm PST

I wouldn't hold to much contempt for the Volt Nairda, the Volt isn't as much setting at the top as it's being artificially help in place by Government subsidy as GM can hardly give them away! :-P

mrhuckfin
12th November, 2013 @ 04:24 am PST

So there really people that ignorant. The Volt is not simply an electric car, the onboard gasoline engine for recharging makes it more expensive. Is that concept too difficult for you to understand? Hint, the range is not limited to the capacity of the batteries, but by the gasoline in the tank.

Meanwhile, Chevy make less expensive electric car, the Spark, as well as Ford (Focus).

All electric cars receive tax credits, as will the Kia when it is introduced.

bradleydad
12th November, 2013 @ 09:40 am PST

Don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but electrics are inherently cheaper to produce.

Yes the ICE market is more mature, but by the simple reason that Serial hybrid engines run at a 2-3 fixed RPMs, and essentially sport smaller engines, means that overall you are looking at a much simpler vehicle to design and manufacture. All other components like motors and current control modules are dirt cheap, especially now since new hubs don't need rare earth elements.

The sad reality is the price of electrics be they pure or hybrid is largely artificially kept high to steer off the masses.

People of low to medium incomes smell the s%#t over the horizon and are actively looking for alternatives to pure ice before hydrocarbon prices begin to skyrocket.

Nairda
13th November, 2013 @ 10:06 pm PST
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